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The Best Deal Jerry West Never Made

Jerry West
(Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports)

The Best Deal Jerry West Never Made

Jerry West threatened to quit if the Warriors went through with trading Klay Thompson for Kevin Love.

The legendary status surrounding Jerry West cannot be overstated. Some of his best moves came as an executive. In my opinion, one of the best moves West ever made was in fact no move at all. As the basketball world mourns the passing of a monumental man, let’s take a look back at a trade Jerry West shot down as part of the Golden State Warriors organization.

Back in 2014, the Golden State Warriors and Minnesota Timberwolves considered the following trade:

For us in 2024, this trade looks downright bonkers. But at the time, it was considered pretty balanced. The Warriors had not yet begun their dynasty, and desired Love’s size and floor spreading ability. The Timberwolves wanted a shooter. Add in a pick and role player here or there and you have yourself a deal. This is where Jerry West stepped in.

Jerry West saw the future when he shot down this proposal. Both he and Steve Kerr were adamantly opposed, West to such an extent that he threatened to resign his role as head advisor to the Warriors if they went through with it. Speaking on the subject years later, he elaborated a position that proved prophetic.

“I’m a big fan of Klay Thompson. I think there were certain people that were of a different opinion because Kevin Love was an attractive player to have because of his ability to spread the court, his rebounding, and his passing — he’s a good player. But to me, the perfect player — and he wasn’t as far along in his career when this trade had been talked about — the perfect player for Steph was Klay. He never seeks the spotlight. He just plays the game. And he has gotten better and better, and frankly, he’s one of the most underrated players in the league who gets not as much love as he should get.”

Jerry West in 2023

This advice could not have proved to be more correct. I don’t need to remind anybody what Thompson and the Warriors did to the league for the remainder of the 2010s. Without Thompson to comprise the other half of the Splash Bros, the Warriors undoubtedly would not have won four championships and gone 73-9 in a season. Jerry West deserves a lot of credit for that.

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